Cover image for Making places special : stories of real places made better by planning
Making places special : stories of real places made better by planning
Bunnell, Gene, 1944-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago : Planners Press, American Planning Association, [2002]

Physical Description:
xix, 588 pages : illustrations ; 27 cm + 1 CD-ROM.
General Note:
Additional case studies (Madison, Wisc., Wichita, Kan., Westminster, Colo.) are included on the accompanying CD-ROM.
The direction of change -- Good places -- Chattanooga, Tennessee -- Providence, Rhode Island -- Charleston, South Carolina -- Duluth, Minnesota -- San Diego, California -- Lessons learned.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NA9105 .B86 2002 Book and Software Set Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Communities, like individuals, make choices that shape their futures. When those communities succeed, the choices they made are considered the root of their success. Rarely is good planning among them. In "Making Places Special," Gene Bunnell works to correct that, offering a survey of ten exceptional places from tiny Block Island, Rhode Island, to booming San Diego, California where good planning played a critical role in making them special. These stories not only demonstrate the value of good planning in making a successful community but also prove that careful planning can help preserve and strengthen the qualities that make places unique to begin with."

Table of Contents

Definitions of Planning
List of Acronyms
1 The direction of change Grappling with change Using places up and moving on Choosing to be a planner
How little we are investing in planning
The belief that planning never works Failing to recognize the value of planning Americans'' yearning for special places
So many books, but something is missing Filling the gap
2 Good Places Introduction Yearning for good places Places planners admire and qualities they value Selection of case-study communities Research approach
The nature of these planning stories
3 Chattanooga, Tennessee
The way things were and the way things are A place shaped by geography and history
The 1960s and 1970s: the city hits bottom Chattanooga''s polluted air Completion of the first plan Two downtown plans
Outcomes of the 1968 and 1976 downtown plans
A local foundation invests in Chattanooga by investing in planning
The first-year project at the planning and design studio: A strucutre plan
The Lyndhurst Foundation focuses on Chattanooga
The urban design studio gains city funding and becomes associated with the RPA Planning for the city-river connection:The Moccasin Bend task force
The first inter-city visit Vision 2000
What Vision 2000 produced Assessing the impact of Chattanooga Venture and Vision 2000 Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise
Inc.-Housing initiatives
The 1985 Riverpark master plan Everything comes together
A major boost for implementation Progress in developing downtown housing Many plans and many planners
Reasons behind Chattanooga''s successful turnaround Planning as a collective learning process
Concluding comments Interviews Planning story chronology
4 Providence, Rhode Island Introduction
A compact but physically divided city Saving a neighborhood-the first step in saving a city
The effort to save College Hill
The impact of the 1959 College Hill plan Reconciling neighborhood and institutional interests
College Hill today Recreating the city''s center and making the city whole
Downtown Providence today
The Providence waterfront study: loosening the grip of highways in Providence Not perfect, but certainly better Observations and comments
A willingness to accept risk People didn''t vote with their feet-they stayed and made things better Still a role for visionary planning
A series of plans that built on one another Interviewees Planning story chronology
5 Charleston, South Carolina An historic and planned city
A highly regulated environment Planning as well as preservation
The downtown plan: the King Street district and Charleston place 1978 tourism impact and management study 1982 visitor accommodations study How planning made a difference
The quietness of the city Planning for affordable housing and avoiding displacement Community appearance and design
Being willling to say "no" Revisiting and revising previously prepared plans Using planning to benefit disadvantaged areas
The future of planning in Charleston
The legacy of a mayor who thinks and acts like a planner Interviewees
Planning story chronology
6 Duluth Minnesota Preface Context and History Creating a Duluth
landmark:The Duluth aerial lift bridge The city''s decline
A unique place The planning of the Duluth Parkway system and skyline drive Making planning an essential function of local government
Major projects aimed at reversing the city''s decline
The big storm and the miller hill corridor plan
A new mayor skeptical of planning Future City, Duluth tomorrow visioning program
The downtown waterfront plan and strategy
The downtown lakewalk Making the downtown lakewalk possible
The transformation of the Duluth waterfront Clear design guidelines Local economic development
A plan for west Duluth
The 2001 and beyond visioning process Planning and the business community
An educated and aroused citizenry
The impact of a planner on a community
The DesMoines in Duluth?
The economic benefits of a balanced approach to planning
An increasingly appealing place to live Interviewees
Planning story chronology
7 San Diego, California Introduction
The unique geography of the region Why the San Diego story is important Early history
A city with a head start in planning Post-World War II San Diego
A burst of planning activity in the 1970s An upsurge in infill development
The revitalization of downtown San Diego Planning and developing a rail transit system
Strengtheninig the transit/land use connection Planning for affordable housing Planning in the 1990s
Planning returns from the woodshed to play an important role in city government Interviewees Planning story chronology
8 Lessons learned Ingredients for successful planning Final thoughts
Appendix Chattanooga, Tennessee profile Providence, Rhode Island profile Charleston
South Carolina profile Duluth, Minnesota profile San Diego
California profile Madison, Wisconsin profile Wichita
Kansas profile Westminster, Colorado profile